DePaul's Jamee Crockett (21) drives past Georgetown guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (4) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Updated: February 20, 2013 9:52PM
WASHINGTON — D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored a career-high 33 points — the most by any Georgetown player this season — the No. 11 Hoyas moved back into a tie for first place in the Big East with a 90-66 win over DePaul.
Smith-Rivera went 10 for 12 from the field, 8 for 10 from the free-throw line and made 5 of 6 3-pointers, scoring the most points by a Georgetown freshman in John Thompson III’s nine seasons as coach.
Nate Lubick added 15 points, and Jabril Trawick had 13 as the Hoyas pulled away with a 15-4 run at the end of the half. They won their eighth straight on a night when they barely needed marquee player Otto Porter, who scored 11 points and sat out the final 17 minutes after banging his right knee in the first half.
The Hoyas (20-4, 10-3) shot 63 percent and scored a season-high in points, handling with relative ease a possible trap game ahead of Saturday’s much-anticipated final Big East visit to No. 8 Syracuse. Georgetown, Syracuse and Marquette sit in a three-way tie atop the conference.
Brandon Young scored 16 points to lead the Blue Demons (11-15, 2-11), who have lost 12 in a row to Georgetown and 40 straight to Top 25 teams. DePaul was coming off of a win over Rutgers on Saturday and was hoping to win back-to-back Big East games for the first time in five years.
The Blue Demons hung with the Hoyas for about 14 minutes, thanks mainly to offensive rebounds and some uncharacteristic defensive lapses by Georgetown. Statistical oddities from the first half: DePaul had an 11-0 advantage in second-chance points, while Georgetown dominated 12-0 in points off turnovers.
But Durrell McDonald’s 3-pointer with 5:57 to go in the first half was the last competitive shot for the Blue Demons. Trawick and Smith-Rivera — among the players who have stepped up their games after Greg Whittington was suspended last month for academic reasons — spurred the run that put the Hoyas ahead 43-29 at the half.
Smith-Rivera made two free throws, a scoop layup and a 3-pointer during a solo seven-point run that put Georgetown ahead by 19. By then, Porter’s night was already over.
Porter was clutching his right knee after hitting the floor when Worrel Clahar was called for an offensive foul while driving to the basket about eight minutes into the game. Porter stayed in the game and didn’t seem affected, with a step-back long 3-pointer as the shot clock was expiring and a backcourt steal among his highlights later in the half.
Porter started the second half but was gone at the 17:18. He went to the locker room and return, sporting a right knee brace.
An entertaining sidelight: One night after a malfunction forced the Washington Wizards to rig up a makeshift scoreboard for an NBA game, the Verizon Center was still haunted by electronic gremlins. The main scoreboard more or less functioned for most of the game, but names and numbers occasionally went missing, and the officials stopped the game midway through the first half for a lengthy conference at the scorer’s table.